Conan is here! We are in love! He is seriously the best addition to our Newton family, and a little chocolate teddy bear. It was the best decision we could have made to get a Labradoodle.
I wanted to share some of our experience with our new dog, and some must haves for your new pet. Plus I had to show new pictures be he is the cutest and I absolutely love his face.ha! It has been great seeing the boys interact with their dog. 
 Cameron just got back from visiting family in Michigan, and met Conan for the first time.  His reaction was priceless!  Now Calvin on the other hand….well he has turned into a puppy.  He is going around the house on all fours and barking at the dog.  Not to mention, he constantly is having wet toes from stepping in the dog bowl. Ugh! I would say if you have a young child with a new dog, really start preparing them months in advance.  Maybe you will avoid wet toes and a toddler attempting to eat dog food. 

We are all adjusting well to the new addition. There has been some definite adjustments with adding a dog. I believe the biggest thing is just the altering your time schedule to remember to take the puppy out, as he has to go out almost every hour.  Everything else has been great, the kids love him, and have been nonstop playing with him.  I have to keep telling Calvin to let him sleep or eat, because he is constantly hovering over Conan. Now that Cameron is back we have another hand to help with taking him outside, which is helpful. Rick, is definitely not an animal lover naturally haha.  However, he has been enjoying Conan.  What he loves the most is the lack of shedding.  Again, if you are wanting a dog but not the shedding definitely consider a hypoallergenic dog! 
I’ve already posted a blog to provide tips to anyone considering getting a dog, but I also wanted to provide some must-have products and services that have helped us this past week.  I feel like there is always a long list of products everyone says you’ll need, and some which can be costly.  You have to sift through it all, and get what is applicable for your life, puppy, and most importantly your budget. I am sharing the items we have purchased and services we have used to hopefully help with your new puppy. 

Essentials: If you don’t get anything else make sure to get great dog food.  If you are purchasing from a breeder find out what type they are feeding him, so you can make the transition easier for the puppy.  You could run into stomach issues if you abruptly change their diet. Invest in a great dog food! In addition, dog bowls, food container, toys, leash, and collar. For your dog bowls make sure to get one that is size appropriate for your dog, and if you have a puppy try to avoid plastic as they may chew. With our previous dog we purchase the steel dog bowl, and they ended up rusting.  So if that type of bowl is your preference make sure it is rust-free, this will save you the money for having to buy another later. 
Crate: We are crate training Conan, I purchased a crate from Groupon.  You will find crates at all different price ranges, and they will basically look the exact same.  If you are trying to keep cost low consider buying one from Walmart, Groupon, or Target.  The one we got was $40 more in a pet store.  Just make sure to read the reviews.  Once I saw the item on Groupon had pretty good reviews, I got it without hesitation.  I will say that the only difference I see is that bars of the crate don’t seem as sturdy.  Also, to make them feel that the crate is not a punishment, make it comfy for them and purchase a crate bed.  I got mine from Groupon for $20! 
Crate training for us is a must for a couple different reasons.  First, we both work full-time and we need to know that the dog is secure any not hurting himself or damaging the home. Secondly, there may be occasions when we have company that are not dog people. So it’s nice having a secure place for the dog when needed.  We will probably always keep our crate, but the goal is to get a point where we can trust the dog to roam free during the work day and at night. Long way to get there, but we are well on our way. He wimpered for about 15 minutes the first night and its decreased every night since. 

Pupbox: This time around as pet owners I really want to make sure that I giving our puppy great food and toys.  I felt with our last dog I just got the basics, and this time around I am wanting to be a better pet owner.  Pet items can get costly, so when I was searching pet items on Instagram I came across Pupbox. It is a monthly subscription box to try products and every month you get something new.  For us this is perfect, we have the opportunity to find out what Conan likes and doesn’t like.  Saves me a trip to the pet store as it gets ship directly to you.  If you are a new pet owner and overwhelmed with the thousands of pet items consider trying Pupbox.  They will send you items that best fit your dog. 
Extras: I wanted to get all of Conan’s items upfront, so I didn’t have to do it later.  I got him a personalized dog tag, and states that he is microchipped. Our breeder microchipped Conan, I highly recommend doing it, because if he gets lost and someone brings him to a vet they will likely scan him.  Then your personal information will come up.  Personalized food mat, because he is a puppy and is messy around his dog bowl. Dog bed, although I am seriously wondering why I even bought it because he almost never sleeps on it. 🙁 Of course, bandanas! I am not the type to put dogs in clothes, as it always looked kind of weird to me.  However, I do love a great bandana.  We got Conan a Camouflage leash and collar, so naturally I had to match it with a Camo bandana also. If you are wanted to do something different for your dog, pick one of these up I got mine for $10 on Etsy. 
That in summary is everything that has gotten us started without first week with Conan.  You will find what you specifically need for your dog and household.  Just remember to shop around, because in most cases you can find the items cheaper somewhere. 

The first week with our new puppy has been successful.  We took him to the vet, and got a clean bill of health (Great news!). Tip: If you purchased a dog from a breeder and have a dog wellness warranty, make sure to be aware of how quickly you need to bring your puppy to be seen by a vet.  For our warranty to be valid we had to take our puppy to the vet within 72 hours. We are also getting him on flea and heart worm medicine this upcoming month. Our midday dog walker started coming, and has been working out great.  We decided to pay for this service for the first few months as puppies have a hard time holding their bladders that long while we are at work. She comes twice a week for us. Next on our list is puppy training, as we want to start early so no bad habits start to form. 
Oh, I forgot to talk about potty training. He has had MANY accidents unfortunately, even with us always taking him out.  We know that is all part of the process. We do not use puppy pads as we don’t want him to associate at all that it is ok to use the bathroom in the home. (Personal preference) I just bought a pet-friendly carpet cleaner, and just going to remain consistent. Once we are out of the woods with potty training, we are going to have a professional carpet cleaner come in.  If you have a puppy just be patient, and really pay attention to when they are drinking and eating.  Because the moment you forget that is when you will see a nice little surprise on your carpet. I am not going to lie and say I don’t mind because of course it is frustrating, but I know this is only temporary. And I can’t ever be mad at that cute chocolate face. 

The overall entire process of getting him has been so much fun.  We planned months on the decision to get Conan, to finding out the mom was expecting, getting the birth announcement, driving to pick him out, and then finally bringing him home.  It has been great to do as a family. As always I love sharing pictures of our cute pup, but also want to provide practical advice to anyone with a new dog.  I will continue to provide updates on our pup and family adjusting to Conan.